MILWAUKEE (AP) Nick Maton had a three-run homer and Matthew Boyd pitched effectively for five innings to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
Boyd (1-1) allowed two runs on five hits in five innings, striking out eight and walking one as the Brewers lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
José Cisnero, Tyler Holton and Jason Foley each tossed a scoreless inning and Alex Lange finished with a perfect ninth for his second save in three chances.
“Definitely needed that one,” said Maton, who entered hitting .129 and hitless in 21 at-bats before a bunt single in the first. “Personally, and as a team, too.”
Maton put the Tigers up 3-1 in the third, salvaging the inning with his homer off Colin Rae (0-1). Detroit had three walks and two hits in the inning, but had a runner caught stealing and another caught in a rundown. Javy Báez’s two-out single put two aboard, and Maton sent a 3-1 pitch 390 feet to right for his fourth homer.
“We obviously made a couple mistakes, but Nick came up with the big hit,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “The three-run homer was way more important in the game because we needed to take the lead. They jumped out with a homer, we come back with a crooked number, and that’s the one hit that we haven’t been able to get over the last week or so.”
Mike Brosseau answered in the bottom half with his third homer to make it 3-2.
Detroit made it 4-2 in the fifth when Eric Haase doubled to open, advanced on a ground out, and then slid home ahead of the tag on a bouncer to second.
Rae, making his third start since being called up after Brandon Woodruff went on the injured list, allowed four runs on five hits in five innings, walking four with one strikeout.
“That’s what happens in a big-league inning when you issue three free passes in one inning,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “There’s going to be a number on the board. That’s going to be a bigger number when if you’ve got three walks in an inning, chances are.”
Milwaukee loaded the bases with one out in the fourth on three singles, but Boyd escaped when Joey Wiemer flied to center and Blake Perkins struck out.
“You handle it a pitch at a time,” Boyd said. “There’s pressure on the hitter in that situation, too. It’s not all on you.”
William Contreras staked the Brewers to a 1-0 lead in the first with his first homer, a two-out solo shot to center.
Tigers: SS Báez, who did not play Sunday at Baltimore after injuring his left middle finger during Saturday’s game, returned to the lineup, batting third.
Brewers: RHP Matt Bush was placed on the 15-day injured list with right rotator cuff tendinitis. RHP Adrian Houser (groin) allowed six hits in 4 2/3 innings Sunday in a 69-pitch rehab start at Triple-A Nashville. He is expected to make at least one more start at Nashville, Counsell said.
RHP Javy Guerra was designated for assignment. Guerra and Bush each pitched in the nine-run eighth inning in Sunday’s 12-5 loss to Boston. “We like Javy Guerra and we think he can be a good pitcher, it’s just we need performance from these spots,” Counsell said. Guerra issued nine walks in 8 1/3 innings with an 8.64 ERA. RHP Jake Cousins and LHP Alex Claudio were called up from Triple-A Nashville. Claudio faced three hitters in the eighth against Detroit, giving up two hits, and Cousins got the final five outs.
LHP Eric Lauer (3-1, 4.30 ERA) starts for the Brewers on Tuesday, opposed by RHP Spencer Turnbull (1-3, 7.85).
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